EU-US: At last, Obama woos Europe
9 June 2011
Long-ignored by Barack Obama in the beginning of his term in favour of Asia and Arab nations, Europe is back on the US President’s priority list. For French daily Le Monde the trip to Washington, DC of German Chancellor Angela Merkel on June 6-7, the first visit by a German head of government since 1995, and Obama’s participation in the G8 summit in Deauville, France mark a change in US foreign policy. “But why now?” queries Le Monde. “Because working with China and Brazil is difficult. It’s difficult to get anything from the Turks. Obama has rediscovered that there is no better partner than Europe,” explains to the paper Charles Kupchan of the Council on Foreign Relations, a Washington-based think-tank.
Furthermore, recent events such as the Arab revolutions place Europe in a strategic location which President Obama cannot afford to neglect. “The United States needs the British and the French as well as NATO, both militarily and financially,” Le Monde notes. Barack Obama is “courting the Europeans also on the Israeli-Palestinian question,” on which Washington fears isolation “when the time comes to take a stand on the recognition of the Palestinian State, in September at the UN”. This recognition is a “powerful divisive factor” for the Europeans, the paper notes.